SerNet builds complete Samba 4 packages
Since the first free software implementation of the Active Directory Domain Controller (AD-DC) in Samba 4 became available, the large variety of potential scenarios for updating Samba 3 has made it difficult for Linux distributors to add the full set of features to their installation packages. Usually, they will choose one part or the other – the Samba 4 source code includes two daemons: samba for operating an AD-DC, and the Samba-3-compatible smbd for file server or domain member operation. However, the distribution packages usually only include one daemon.
This gap has been closed by SerNet, a company that has made a name for itself by providing ready-made Samba binaries since 2003. The SerNet server offers Samba 4 packages for various distributions. These are usually more current than the distributors' packages. SerNet's dedicated Samba 4 packages now include both daemons complete with the relevant tools. A configuration file allows users to choose which daemon to use. It is possible to install them alongside existing official Samba packages, but there is no automatic way of updating, for example, a Samba 3 domain to Active Directory.
There are two reasons why the packages are of interest. Firstly, they allow developers to test the Active Directory aspect with an updated version of Samba 4 without having to compile the code and install it while bypassing a distribution's package repository. Secondly, and far more importantly, they provide a more recent SMB server than the one that is available in Samba 3.6 at present – current developments, for example in connection with SMB 2.2, can be found in this code base first. The Samba developers encourage users to adopt Samba 4 even for plain file servers.
However, SerNet has added in one hurdle: those who wish to use the free-of-charge Samba 4 packages must register with their full address and will then be sent credentials for accessing the distribution-specific repositories. SerNet has promised to only use the address data to provide registered users with specific product information.